As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. In Maricopa County's case, it has to spend money just to make sure Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio spends taxpayer cash properly.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors adopted a $2.3 billion budget yesterday, $1.65 million of which isn't going toward any sort of government service, it's going toward hiring consultants to make sure Joe Arpaio spends taxpayer money properly.
This means that every single one of the nearly four million people in Maricopa County would have to shell out about 42 cents to pay for nothing more than hiring people to make sure the county's continuously re-elected sheriff spends taxpayer money allocated to his office as it was intended to be spent.
Over the past eight years, an investigation into the MCSO's spending habits revealed in April, Arpaio and his cronies misspent $99.5 million, the majority of which came from the sheriff's detention fund.
Budget officers reviewed payroll records for 5,700 sheriff's employee salaries from February 2004 to February 2011 and found that much of what employees actually were doing was not what they were getting paid to do.
See our story on Arpaio's misspent millions here.
Now it's time for the MCSO to pay it back.
The Arizona Republic broke down the county's new budget, and its plan for Arpaio to pay back the cash.
From the Republic:
The adopted repayment plan would use $73.6 million in excess general-fund money that was transferred to the detention fund years ago to replace misspent funds. Then, $25.9 million available from two Sheriff's Office funds dedicated to inmates would be swept to offset the balance.
The plan will not affect county operations or burden taxpayers because the $73.6 million already exists in the sheriff's detention fund, budget officials said.
According to the Republic, Arpaio has agreed to the resolution, which was "meant to symbolize both sides' willingness to move past several years of conflict."
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